Tuesday, October 16, 2018

#Moxtober 16: Angular

During the month of October is #Inktober! Each day has a single-word prompt, but instead of inking something, I design a Magic: The Gathering mechanic to fit the word. This is called #Moxtober.

(#Moxtober was previously named #Meltober, named after "Mel", the more mechanically-inclined counterpart to "Vorthos" of the aesthetic profile spectrum.)

Day 01: "poisonous"
Day 02: "tranquil"
Day 03: "roasted"
Day 04: "spell"
Day 05: "chicken"
Day 06: "drooling"
Day 07: "exhausted"
Day 08: "star"

Day 09: "precious"
Day 10: "flowing"
Day 11: "cruel"
Day 12: "whale"
Day 13: "guarded"
Day 14: "clock"
Day 15: "weak"

Today's prompt is: "angular"

The angular prompt made me think of tapping and untapping, due to tapped and untapped permanents together making "angles."

This is like devotion. Instead of devotion checking for mana symbols in mana costs of permanents you control, skill set checks for these tap or untap symbols in nonland (important to avoid all those lands) permanents you control. I imagine this number not being very high in a Limited environment - though, some permanents exist out there with tons of tap abilities.

A potential point of confusion is if someone sees the tap symbol in reminder text of haste or other types of reminder text and think that it would count for this ability. It wouldn't count since reminder text is invisible to rules text. The fact that I have to point this out doesn't bode well for folks NOT being confused. Any suggestions for this?

I followed the templating that overload has, which replaces "text' instead of saying "rules text." And even if someone put "rules text", there would probably still be Magic players wondering whether reminder text counts as rules text (and not even know the difference).

I chose "skill set" since having an activated ability that uses the tap symbol as a cost feels like you're applying a skill of focus on an effect.


  1. What about "for each {T} in the costs of activated abilities of nonland permanents you control"? I think that's the same without the reminder text concern.

    I'd encourage you to scrap the component of caring about untap costs. Those aren't coming back and you're not going to be mixing them in this set, so mentioning both types seems unnecessary.

    This has a lot of intrigue to it but I'm not sure how it would play out. Is building a deck around tap costs significantly interesting? Its delightfully innovative at least!

    1. Wow, great suggestion for updated wording!

      The idea of including the untap symbol was designed as if it were in a set with the untap symbol being prevalent, and I believe that it could be feasible that both tap symbols and untap symbols coexist in the same Limited environment without negative repercussions.

      Fair point about whether it's actually fun. :) Unfortunately, I never reach the playtesting stage to see how it actually plays out, due to my limited time to brainstorm each of the 31 mechanics for this month.

      Thank you so much for the feedback!

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